In early July, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that the delta variant, first detected in India, has become the dominant strand of Covid-19 in the United States. According to the Associated Press, the delta variant is now responsible for 90 percent of new Covid cases.
The mutation has caused an immense amount of concern throughout the nation. In response to its spread, experts have been encouraging unvaccinated people to strongly consider getting vaccinated in efforts to combat the pandemic. Studies have shown that those who have been fully vaccinated with either Moderna, Pfizer, or Johnson and Johnson are more likely to fight off the delta variant, causing more urgency by experts to spread awareness about the benefits of the vaccines.
The decision for many schools like Sacred Heart University to mandate the vaccine in order to come back to campus has sparked conversation among students about their personal choices with the vaccine.
“I personally got the vaccine as soon as I could in April,” said senior Anna Pirkl. “I wanted the feeling of security that comes with being vaccinated so I feel more comfortable going out in public.”
Other students say they took advantage of their off-campus job, giving them the opportunity to get vaccinated early.
“I’m a nursing major, and the field I work in gave me the chance to get the vaccine before a lot of people,” said junior Ashley Kenneally. “I was thankful for this opportunity and it gave me a lot of peace of mind. After that, I was just waiting for my friends and family to get the same opportunity and access to the vaccine.”
However, other students say they had reasons why they didn’t think they would get the vaccine until it was required by Sacred Heart.
“I worked every day while I was home, not knowing if the people around me had Covid-19,” said senior Cameron Williams. “I have been tested well over 50 times and tested negative each time. I tested positive for the antibodies and honestly just never felt the need to get the vaccine until the Johnson and Johnson vaccine was available in my town.”
Some students say that they originally didn’t plan on getting the vaccine, but didn’t mind that the school decided to mandate it.
“I was indifferent to getting the vaccine,” said senior Tori Hanushak. “I heard many benefits but also read about the dangers, so I wasn’t sure what decision I wanted to make, and then the school mandated it, which made the decision easier for me.”
Similarly, other students say that due to their awareness of the delta variant, they decided to get vaccinated.
“I didn’t necessarily go out of my way to get the vaccine in the beginning,” said graduate student Ryan Corbett. “Once I saw how the delta variant was affecting people, I decided to get vaccinated.”
Numerous students also said they felt strongly about getting the vaccine and advised other people to do the same.
“I think it’s an important thing to do, especially if it keeps the people around you safe as well as family members and friends,” said Pirkl.